Bystander Intervention Training

Student safety is a priority at William Paterson University! Bystander Intervention is recognizing a potentially harmful situation or interaction and choosing to intervene by using their presence and position to interrupt or speak out against language or behaviors that perpetuate violence or harassment in a way that could positively influence the outcome.

Steps for Intervention

The 5Ds are different methods you can use to support someone who’s being harassed, emphasize that harassment is not okay, and empower members of our community.  These tips have been adapted from Right To Be formerly Hollaback!.  For free public training, check out Right To Be: Take action - Right To Be

  1. DIRECT. Intervene directly by confronting/calling out the individuals to notify them of their inappropriateness
  2. Distract. Create some form of distraction and interrupt the flow of violence.
  3. Delegate. Ask for assistance and empower other allies to become accomplices as active bystanders to help find resources or additional help from a third party such as calling University Campus police, a Resident Assistant, or event supervisor. 
  4. Delay.  Follow up with those impacted. First assess if its safe to check-in with those that experienced harm and offer comfort and provide reassurance. 
  5. Document. Record inappropriate behavior/violence so there is a record available from a third-party witness to provide as evidence if necessary.

Important Considerations when documenting:

  • Assess your own safety prior to recording​.
  • Keep a safe distance, film landmarks, state the date and time of the film clearly​.
  • Hold the camera steady and shoot important shots for at least 10 seconds.
  • ALWAYS ask the person (if possible) who was impacted what THEY want to do with the recording​.
  • NEVER (if possible) post it online or use it without their permission.​

Trauma manifests with each person differently. Please be intentional and respectful with any documentation you have and always operate based on the needs of the impacted party. 

Apply your knowledge

Expand your professional portfolio by attending workshops to learn how to apply your knowledge.  All workshops and training are eligible for credits towards the Social Justice Leadership Badge and are applicable to students that seek to be educators, social workers, social justice leaders, health care providers, other roles working with diverse populations; and leadership roles in corporate.

Register on Pioneer Life

Check out Pioneer Life for dates and details. Be sure to sign in to see hidden events not open to the public and to register for the workshops or programs of your choice.   Groups, faculty, and supervisors seeking a modified workshop please contact the listed facilitator. 

In this presentation, Dr. Alison Dobrick explores the messages, symbols, codes, and memes used by today's domestic hate groups and other extremists. Strategies and tips on how to take action against bigotry in its many modern forms. 

Questions or to request a workshop, contact: Dr. Alison Dobrick, Director of the William Paterson University Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, 

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Voices Against Violence is a one-hour bystander intervention workshop that follows best practices in challenging and changing attitudes about domestic/dating violence, and sexual violence. It will help you understand:

  • WHY intervention is necessary
  • HOW intervention can positively impact our campus, and
  • WHAT to do when you witness gender-based violence - anything from sexist jokes to victim-blaming to physical assaults.

Questions or to request a workshop, contact: Theresa Bivaletz, Social Worker for Student Support and Resources,

In this 60 min workshop, students will learn about LGBTQIA+ individuals and will learn to differentiate between gender identity, sexual orientation, and relationship style. In addition, students will understand structural and cultural components of systemic violence and develop the skills needed to become an active bystander.

Questions or to request a workshop, contact: Yolany Gonell, Director for Student Diversity & Inclusion, 

In this presentation, presenters Dr. Rajender Kaur and Yolany Gonell discuss the pervasiveness of xenophobia in social and cultural discourse in the wake of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the ways in which we can use our sphere of influence to take effective steps to combat it.

Learning Outcomes

  • Raise awareness of how xenophobia manifests itself and is perpetuated.
  • Gain a nuanced understanding of why perceptions of Coronavirus is racially charged through examination of historical and current media representations.
  • Analyze systemic impacts in minoritized communities and actions we can take to support campus-wide efforts to create safe and inclusive environments on and off campus.

Questions or to request a workshop, contact: Dr. Rajender Kaur, Director of the Asian Studies Program,